With an ever growing consumer and middle class, people throughout Africa are earning more spending power and love for brand products. Ford seeing the huge market potential, is increasing its investment and presence in Africa. Africa is the last untapped big market for major corporations and Ford has announced 17 new vehicles designed for sub-Saharan Africa. The models, all to be introduced by 2016, draw on Ford’s car heritage and global vehicle architectures deigned for the African consumer in mind.
“Middle East and Africa is the final frontier for global automotive growth,” said Ford’s regional chief Jim Benintende. According to Ford’s projections, car sales are expected to grow by 40% in the coming decade in the region. Ford isn’t the only car manufacturer looking to expand in Africa. PSA Peugeot Citroen, which is French based, reopened closed planet in Nigeria. Chinese brands are also increasing their presence . GM, Toyota, Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz have all over the years paid more attention, increased investment in Africa, after seeing all it’s potential. Ford is making sure that they aren’t left in the slow lane trying to catch up with the competition.
Johannesburg recently held its annual motor show. The show (also popularly known as the Joburg Motor Show) is the single largest international automotive event in Southern Africa. The exhibition (held once every two years) runs in conjunction with two additional shows ‘Auto Shop’ and the ‘Johannesburg Truck Show’ which collectively offer a complete representation of the motor industry, serving Sub Saharan Africa and South Africa as host country. This event takes place at the MTN Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg, and is a comprehensive automotive lifestyle show case.
Here is a video promo of the event
The African car industry is poised for growth as more people move up the social economic class. The new consumers throughout the continent are a bright spot for car companies such as Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Ford and General Motors.
The achievement marks the second year running in which MBSA manufacturing plant in East London, which produces the C-Class Mercedes model for the local and U.S. market, has been presented with a quality award by the JD Power and Associates US Initial Quality Study (IQS).
This time around, the firm, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the global company, Daimler AG, has outdone its own earlier achievement.
Last year, the plant received the 2009 IQS Gold Plant Quality Award for producing vehicles yielding the fewest defects and malfunctions of any plant in the Europe and Africa region that serve the U.S. market.
However, MBSA’s latest award is for producing vehicles yielding the fewest defects and malfunctions of any automotive plant supplying the U.S. market, with only 28 defects per 100 vehicles.
HIGHLIGHTING “BRILLIANT QUAILITY”
President and CEO of MBSA, Dr Hansgeorg Niefer, said: To receive such an award despite the relentless pressure and stresses of the global recession over the past two years, points to the brilliant quality of our people and processes.
Brian Walters, Vice President of EMEA operations at JD Power and Associates, added: Daimler’s East London plant has been a top performing plant and its achievement in 2010 is particularly impressive. Daimler’s rigorous quality management processes are a key reason for why the brand has been able to assemble consistently high-quality vehicles in different regions of the world.
This is great news not only for South Africa, but also the local Mercedes-Benz affiliate. Daimler’s investment and expansion in South Africa is paying off. This recognition by a respected global firm will go a long way in cementing the image as African nations having the ability to produce quality products. Lets hope rest of world begins to take notice.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), a unit of Daimler AG DAIGn.DE, plans to invest 2 billion rand ($290 million) to produce the next generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class models to be introduced to global markets in 2014.
The German automaker said in a statement on Tuesday the investment would be used to expand the technical capacity of its South African plant in East London to 65,000 units.
“Daimler AG is delighted to include South Africa among the four manufacturing locations around the world to build the next-generation C-Class,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, a member of Daimler AG’s board of management.
The new models will be built at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in East London, and will also be produced in China, Germany and the United States.
Daimler AG has invested more than 5 billion rand in South Africa over the past 10 years.
“In the first quarter of next year, we should reach the half-a-million mark of C-Class vehicles produced locally since 1994, which marked the model’s start of production in South Africa,” Hansgeorg Niefer, CEO of MBSA, said in a statement.
Mercedes-Benz said the investment was a vote of confidence in the local operations.
In September, General Motors (GM) GM.UL said it planned to invest 1 billion rand in South Africa over the next two years as it builds up its export business in sub-Saharan Africa.
This new investment comes on the heels of General Motors restructuring its African operations to solidify its position on the continent. The more competition, the better for Africa in the long run, especially from global brands like General Motors and Mercedes-Benz.